The State cuts 20% of the rented surfaces; other buildings looking for a million dollar goal
BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – With many state agencies working from home, the state will reduce the amount of space it rents by 20% by the next biennium.
But some agencies work from home and the leases for their buildings are not yet in effect.
Now departments must find ways to use them while taxpayers’ money continues to pay rent.
Not all agencies work from Capitol Hill or even have their own state office.
Some rent private offices.
Like many other state departments, ITD is reducing the space it needs.
Now many workers are leaving this building, and it already has an expensive history.
The state’s Department of Information Technology oversees much of the state’s IT and data security needs.
For years they were based in this building in northern Bismarck, but a lot of the work they did here can be done anywhere.
“Our software developers do a lot of work where it’s fingers on keyboards. They do a lot of coding, a lot of that, a lot of running scenarios, and you don’t have to be in front of someone to do a lot of that, ”said Greg Hoffman, CFO of ‘ITD. .
Many departments are condensing their space in the Capitol building, or moving out of their privately rented space and moving to places like the Bank of North Dakota.
Most contracts on private buildings are two-year leases, which expire this year.
By cutting a fifth of their leased space, North Dakota is expected to save around $ 1 million.
“Towards the end of last year, that space then became available for them to return. Well, when you’re all settled in at home and everything, you’re kind of used to working from home, ”said Facilities Manager John Boyle.
However, the ITD building is under a 10-year lease, costing the state $ 1.4 million, and that deal has four years left, according to Boyle.
This is not the first time that ITD employees have left this building.
In 2019, employees had to relocate so that fundamental building issues could be addressed.
“In fact, we were preparing and making plans in June 2020 to return to the building. Well here’s COVID and the telecommuting presence and the realization that it can work and not have to come back into the building. So the timing of everything is interesting, ”Hoffman said.
The construction costs were covered by the building owner and the agency was not charged rent until it was in use.
ITD said the building will not sit empty for the next four years.
They plan to move some of their more than 400 employees around the campus while using space as much as possible, adding that there may be other changes to the building around the corner.
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